The DELETE key is one of my favorite email buttons. If you don’t know who or what it is, delete it! Keep your personal numbers, (Social Security/Medicare, bank accounts) personal. The delete function on your phone is called “hanging-up!” It’s your phone, and you do not have to listen if it sounds odd.  Will doing all this make it stop? Wish it were so. We’re people, and sometimes we will get fooled. Sharing what we find and letting others know what they can do, however, can make a difference. Be a part of the solution, if you actively do something, it will stop making you feel like a victim and you’ll start feeling like part of the solution. Do something today to stop Medicare fraud. <!–split–>

Change In Medicare Numbers Can Be Jackpot For Scammers!

Congress passed a bill April 2015 to replace the Social Security numbers on Medicare cards with a randomly  selected number. They have four years to set up the system for new cards, and four more years to reissue cards to current Medicare beneficiaries. The bad news is scammers will exploit this information to confuse older adults in an effort to get them to give out their Medicare information over the phone.

The calls will likely sound like this; “Hello, this is Medicare and we have good news for you. We are changing your Medicare number and it will no longer be your Social Security number. This will make you safe from identity theft. But, before we make the switch, we need to verify your current information.” That’s a big RED flag that this is a scam, asking you to verify information. Whenever you get a call or email from someone asking to verify information, especially personal information like Social Security numbers, bank account numbers or credit card numbers, it is a scam. They may have a little information about you, but they need more to complete the picture. The information they are asking from you is the piece of the puzzle they need to complete their file on you; and they will take this information and either steal your identity or bill Medicare for items and services you do not need.

Never give any kind of personal information to anyone who calls you on the phone, no matter how convincing they sound. Remember that Medicare, Social Security and the IRS will never call you on the phone.” Be alert to potential scams. Do not fall for calls, postcards, or emails that offer to help you get your new Medicare card. Contact the Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) if you have any questions or if you would like to receive information about how to protect, detect and report fraud and abuse at 1-800-423-2449.

News distributed by Nancy Creery, Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol Program Coordinator, Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging (NEI3A), Waterloo, IA, 1-800-423-2449.

Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) a project of: Milestones Area Agency on Aging July 2015 Monthly News You Can Use Permission granted to AAAs to reprint these articles with credit given to Iowa SMP.

Your Parish Nurse,  Kara